This is a short report featuring a return trip to and from Vienna that begins my ex-EU trip to Hong Kong. I flew out in Euro Traveller (which is BA’s regional Economy Class – though more akin to LCC now as they charge for food and drinks on board). BA operates some of their flights out of Terminal 3 and Vienna is one of these ‘special’ flights. I do like the idea of flying out of Terminal 3 as it means I can access to Cathay lounge, which was indeed very nice.
I arrived about three hours prior to the flight at Terminal 3 via National Express on quite a gloomy day.
BA’s Check-in area
Priority lane was quite empty
Soon enough I got my boarding pass and my bags were all tagged priority. I was then told I should use the Fast Track for security.
Fast Track security was a breeze. It took a mere 5 minute, which was a record for me in Terminal 3. I do thank my OneWorld Sapphire card! In no time, I was in the Cathay lounge enjoying the Cathay-branded brew – the Betsy Beer.
As part of the ‘Life Well Travelled’ campaign, Cathay introduces the ‘Betsy beer’ which is ‘a high-quality craft ale that has travel in its DNA’. Uniquely the beer has three ingredients: dragon eye, Hong Kong honey and fuggle. It was very unique in taste and rather sweet – not a fan, but good to try.
The sun breaks through
One hour prior to boarding, I moved over to the dining area to get some food. I asked for some sparkling water and white wine to go with my dinner.
My selection: I must say that the food quality has improved appreciably since I was last here in December. Very enjoyable, indeed.
My gate today
The flight was to be very full and I got a text message that I could check my cabin luggage in as well.
The gate agents did not have much success in getting people to check their bags, in part because if they are travelling on hand-baggage-only fare, they would not want to wait for the bags at Vienna. Given that I had two other bags in the hold, I was happy enough to offer to check my hand baggage, which was met with appreciation by the gate agent!
Boarding began soon after
I bagged an exit row window seat, which in my opinion, had a much better legroom than some of the Club Europe (Business Class) seats!
The flight left on time and arrived pretty much on time
This is my first flight featuring the M&S Buy On Board program, although I did not partake
I do like the idea of being able to pay with avios!
The flight was short – just under two hours – and soon enough, we began our descent into Vienna.
Vienna was very picturesque and I was blessed with very good weather. I had a nice long stroll in the loop and it was rather refreshing.
It was a satisfying stroll
I began my travel to Asia the following day after a whole day stay in Vienna. I took the train from the City to the airport
And this is the arrivals hall
Like the other ports I have visited, BA only has three counters for check-in
The lounge was alright – not much food and beverage. I just used the free wifi and did some emails
The flight was calling at gate D29, which was a bus gate
View from my seat
Legroom from row 1
Hot towel was offered
The view makes up for the lack of inflight entertainment
Club Europe was half full today and service was fast, efficient and personal… exemplified by having two scones! (This would be my last flight was the old Club Europe catering – will miss the scones!)
Toasting to a good trip
After afternoon tea, we were nearing London
The descent into Heathrow made for great sightseeing
We were parked next to the JAL flight to Haneda
Next time I will pick up on my connection to Terminal 5 and my flight to Kuala Lumpur on BA’s Dreamliner in Club World Business Class.
Verdict? BA’s new Economy concept seems to be working well – there were plenty of orders for food and drinks. I like the idea of being able to pay with avios and I think the avios/cash conversion is very reasonable. Of course, paying at all is undesirable and I will continue to eat up in the lounge and fill up my water bottle before flying with BA on Economy; but I will be open to the idea of purchasing on board when I have to.
BA’s old Club Europe catering suits me well, but perhaps not for the gentleman across the row from me who did not appreciate the lack of choice for afternoon tea. I like the bulkhead seat which has good legroom – but this is nothing compared to the regional seats in Asia or even in the USA.